Antiviral effects of Glycyrrhiza species
Article first published online: 20 SEP 2007
Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Volume 22, Issue 2, pages 141–148, February 2008
How to Cite
Fiore, C., Eisenhut, M., Krausse, R., Ragazzi, E., Pellati, D., Armanini, D. and Bielenberg, J. (2008), Antiviral effects of Glycyrrhiza species. Phytother. Res., 22: 141–148. doi: 10.1002/ptr.2295
- Issue published online: 30 JAN 2008
- Article first published online: 20 SEP 2007
- Manuscript Accepted: 24 JUN 2007
- Manuscript Received: 11 JUN 2007
- glycyrrhetinic acid;
Historical sources for the use of Glycyrrhiza species include ancient manuscripts from China, India and Greece. They all mention its use for symptoms of viral respiratory tract infections and hepatitis. Randomized controlled trials confirmed that the Glycyrrhiza glabra derived compound glycyrrhizin and its derivatives reduced hepatocellular damage in chronic hepatitis B and C. In hepatitis C virus-induced cirrhosis the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma was reduced. Animal studies demonstrated a reduction of mortality and viral activity in herpes simplex virus encephalitis and influenza A virus pneumonia. In vitro studies revealed antiviral activity against HIV-1, SARS related coronavirus, respiratory syncytial virus, arboviruses, vaccinia virus and vesicular stomatitis virus.
Mechanisms for antiviral activity of Glycyrrhiza spp. include reduced transport to the membrane and sialylation of hepatitis B virus surface antigen, reduction of membrane fluidity leading to inhibition of fusion of the viral membrane of HIV-1 with the cell, induction of interferon gamma in T-cells, inhibition of phosphorylating enzymes in vesicular stomatitis virus infection and reduction of viral latency.
Future research needs to explore the potency of compounds derived from licorice in prevention and treatment of influenza A virus pneumonia and as an adjuvant treatment in patients infected with HIV resistant to antiretroviral drugs. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.